Bob Duffy is edging out Wade Norwood in the latest financial disclosures, with a total of $314,000 compared to Norwood's $283,000. The difference isn't major, but comes as yet one more indication (if small) of Duffy's dominance of the race. Polls show Duffy with greater name recognition and a lead at this early juncture, and these filings show him with more cash to maintain that lead.
Norwood's folks are countering with the fact that they gathered more petition signatures than Duffy, which is hardly relevant, considering Norwood had most of the county committee circulating for him and Duffy had to raise his own team of gatherers.http://www.rnews.com/Story_2004.cfm?ID=28722&rnews_story_type=18&category=10
So is the race starting to get away from Norwood, the City Councilman who was once thought to be the surefire heir to Mayor Johnson? Not quite, but it's not going great for him either.
He was supposed to win the party designation; he put in the time cultivating the relationships with committee members and it paid off. Being the party's chosen candidate will be useful. But Duffy has higher name recognition as a result of his former position as city police chief. Norwood has run citywide before as a city councilman, but never in a much-contested race, and has therefore never had to campaign like he will for this race. Duffy is able to cite the name recognition and polls showing his lead (which at this stage are, for the most part, really no more than tests of name recognition) to donors within the business community and is able to raise money based on his lead.
The test now for Norwood is to begin expanding the race. He needs to get it beyond former positions and the "what I have done for the city" mentality, which Duffy is likely to win. If Norwood must shift the focus to what needs to be done and how the candidates will approach it. Norwood has the powerful organization of Assemblyman David Gantt behind him, and that will pay big dividends on primary day, but in the meantime he needs to convince more casual Democrats (and especially white Democrats on the east side) that he has a plan.
Duffy's manager, Molly Clifford, is an talented, experienced political operative. She knows that her candidate currently holds the high ground and that maintaining the status quo will leave Norwood still trailing by election day. Mixing it up will allow for unpredictability, and for Norwood to have a chance, that's what he will need to do.